The following information was shared as a newsletter from the Accreditation Clinical Advisory Group (ACAG) in July 2023:
UKAS accreditation to the IQIPS Standard: everything you need to know
This is the first newsletter from the ACAG to provide information about the IQIPS scheme and the work that they are involved in with accreditation on behalf of the 8 professions
The Improving Quality in Physiological Services (IQIPS) scheme is an accreditation programme managed and delivered by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The programme aims to improve the quality of care, safety, and services for patients undergoing physiological tests, examinations, and procedures across eight different physiological science disciplines. Assessments are delivered by UKAS against the IQIPS Standard which was developed and owned by the ACAG.
- Founded in 1966, consolidated as UKAS in 1995
- Not for Profit and non-profit distributing organisation
- Appointed as sole UK National Accreditation Body to design and administer robust and consistent assessment and accreditation processes
- UKAS currently has 3,221 accredited customers
- During the year UKAS fulfils over 33,000 assessment days, through 265 full time employees, including 190 permanent Assessment Managers
- Additional resource with specialist skill is managed through UKAS’s network of over 700 Independent Technical Assessors.
The IQIPS scheme
The Improving Quality in Physiological Services (IQIPS) scheme is a professionally led accreditation programme that covers eight physiological science disciplines, including Audiology, Cardiac Physiology, Gastro-Intestinal Physiology, Neurophysiology, Ophthalmic & Vision Science, Respiratory and Sleep Physiology, Vascular Science, and Urodynamics. The programme aims to improve services, care, and safety for patients undergoing physiological tests, examinations, and procedures. The IQIPS scheme is managed and delivered by UKAS, which provides the expertise and insight needed to support the delivery of quality in healthcare.
Benefits of the IQIPS scheme
Accreditation to the IQIPS standard offers several benefits to healthcare providers, including:
- Contributing to quality outcomes for patients
- Sharing best practice
- Enhancing efficiency with evidence for local leverage
- Bringing national recognition to the service with a badge of quality
- Improving performance in healthcare provision
- Enabling access to shared learning opportunities
NHSE and CQC recognition
NHS England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), NHS Improvement, and professional physiology bodies recognise the importance of the IQIPS scheme in contributing to quality outcomes for patients. The IQIPS scheme is increasingly used by clinical commissioning groups and national specialised commissioners to power improved performance in healthcare provision for patients. The CQC also recognises the IQIPS scheme, which is considered when rating an organisation. There is a contractual requirement for any Clinical Diagnostic Centres (CDC) to have accreditation for the diagnostic activity within two years of set up.
IQIPS scheme statistics
As of July 2023, the IQIPS scheme has accredited the following services:
- 61 Audiology (25 with paediatric audiology)
- 4 Cardiac Physiology
- 4 GI Physiology
- 4 Neurophysiology
- 5 Respiratory and Sleep
- 2 Vascular Science
Six trusts involved with the scheme have multiple services accredited, and there are 20 new applicants. Accredited organisations can extend their scope of accreditation either with extra activity, services or locations and 3 extensions to the scope of accreditation are in progress. (19 Audiology, 2 Cardiac Physiology, 1 Vascular Science, and 1 Vision Science).
Transition achievements – GOLD STAR
The IQIPS Standard v2:2020 was published in October 2020 and replaced IQIPS Standard v1:2012 with minor update in 2023. Huge congratulations are due to the 42 services who have transitioned to the IQIPS 2023 standard so far.
There are various online resources available for services seeking additional information on the IQIPS scheme:
- Search for services already accredited to the IQIPS scheme by UKAS
- Find out more about accreditation and the value it brings to accredited organisations
- Find out more about the IQIPS scheme
- Download a copy of the IQIPS standard
- Read UKAS guidance on the IQIPS standard
- Find out more about training courses available from the UKAS Training Academy to enhance awareness of the IQIPS standard
- Access UKAS Technical Publications
- Meet Laura Booth – Senior Assessment Manager for IQIPS at UKAS
Who’s Who on the ACAG
- Samantha Scott (Chairperson)
- Alan Bryant / Joanne Ashton (British Academy of Audiology – BAA)
- Mark Squirrel / Joanne Ashton (Society of Cardiological Science and Technology – SCST)
- Sarah Ritzmann (British Society of Echocardiography – BSE)
- British Heart Rhythm Society (BHRS)– currently vacant
- Tanya Miller / Samantha Scott (Association of Gastrointestinal Physiologists – AGIP)
- Dimitrios Kefalas (Association of Neurophysiological Scientists- ANCS
- Daniel Konn (British Society for Clinical Neurophysiology – BSCN)
- Tracey Fleming (Association of Respiratory Technology & Physiology – ARTP)
- Andrew Gammie / Eskinder Solomon (United Kingdom Continence Society – UKCS)
- Alison Charig (Society For Vascular Technology – SVT)
- Chris Hogg (Ophthalmic and vision science – BriSCEV)
- Laura Booth (United Kingdom Accreditation Service – UKAS)
Assessment findings: common themes
Across the IQIPS standard, there are common themes where mandatory findings are raised on assessments. For the 2023 standard, these lie predominantly around the quality manual with regards to the level of detail and content, the quality policy and measurable objectives, non-conformity management, calibration authority/traceability, competence processes, and more.
The ACAG is working on tools to help support services longer term around some of these themes.
For further information about the IQIPS scheme please contact [email protected] or your direct ACAG representative if you wish to feedback to the ACAG.